The cost of buying a car in today's market is bad enough.

Then there is the cost of owning and operating a car.

Actually, that last one's one has always been on the high side in the Mountain West.

The  4 key metrics are the cost of gas, average repair costs, average annual insurance costs, and average monthly auto loan payments.

According to an annalist from Forbes Magazine:

“I don't think it's a surprise to anyone who's owned a vehicle, operated a vehicle or tried to buy a car in the past several years that prices have been surging upward,” said Skyler McKinley with the American Automobile Association.

California is tied with Nevada for the most expensive state. Their high gas prices are part of the reason.

Colorado holds 3rd place. their repair bills for living up in those mountains are a big part of that.

Upset woman driver inside her car

New Mexico and Wyoming are in the top 10. Oddly enough it's their high loan payments that put them there.

Some regions must also factor in high driving costs, like traffic and distance. But also winter driving and mountain driving.

“If you look at the cars that Westerners like to drive, these tend to be bigger vehicles — SUVs, trucks, typically equipped with all weather tires, typically equipped with four - wheel drive,” he said. “We're just driving more expensive vehicles … when you're buying a Ford F-150, a RAM 1500, you know that's going to cost more than a Toyota Corolla really in every category.”

Tough roads due to snowfall and wildfires drive up insurance claims.

The temporary shutdown of a Suncor plant, Colorado’s lone oil refinery, has been a big and unexpected contributor to high gas prices since late December.


“Generally, the sort of Rocky Mountain West states don't have gas prices that are much higher than the national average,” he said. “If this survey were taken, you know, for example, this time last year, the numbers would be, I think, a little bit different in that category.”

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